Is Your Passport Ready For Travel?

July 15th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

passport requirements, international travelIf you are planning to travel abroad in the next few months or year, take a quick look at your passport to make sure it is adequate for your travel. Does the expiration date and number of blank pages fulfill the visiting country’s requirements?  Normal processing time for renewals and new applications is currently taking about 4 to 6 weeks, but expedited services are available through US Passport Processing Centers or designated private courier services.  An easy-to-understand guide can be found at

[Infographic] How Travelers Plan Their Trips

July 10th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

How Do Travelers Plan Their Trips

Traveling for a trip can be both exciting and exhausting. It takes a lot of time and effort to research on hotels for accommodations, places to eat, and must-see tourist spots.

In the United States, sources of travelers when planning their trips have changed over the years according to a ‘Domestic Travel Market Report’ by the U.S. Travel’s Research Department.

The shift was because of the mobile devices and social media becoming more popular. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gears have changed the way people search for information. Social media also revolutionized how people share experiences.

Key findings of the 2012 study included information that nearly 31% of travelers relied on past experiences when planning their trips.

About a quarter or 23% of travelers relied on their relatives and friends for information. Ten percent of them checked on destination websites like Gateway Destinations.

Nine percent (9%) trusted travel provider websites. These were mainly hotel, airline, cruise, tours, and rental car websites.

Only 5 percent trusted social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A small four percent (4%) of the travelers used their mobile devices.

The 2012 Domestic Travel Market Report showed that mobile device use and social networking as source improved. From two percent in 2009, use of social sites moved up to five percent (5%). Use of mobile device went from one to four percent (1 to 4%).

The report also revealed that traveling households earn more than non-traveling households. Media Household Income of three groups were also identified:

Domestic leisure travelers – $62,500
Business travelers – $87,500

Meanwhile, average income of the general U.S. population was $52,800.

[Source: US Travel]

Travel agencies like Gateway Destiantions offers all inclusive luxury vacations, women only tours, custom honeymoon adventures, and extraordinary European tours. Allow us to plan a memorable trip for you and your loved ones.

[Infographic] Leisure Travelers Older than Business Travelers

July 3rd, 2014 / blog / Comments Off


Leisure Travelers older than Business Travelers

Leisure Travelers older than Business Travelers

According to the Research Department of the US Travel Association, the age of leisure travelers are older than business travelers. Most of the leisure travelers have an average age of 47.5 years old while business travelers’ age is 45.9 years old.

Of the more mature travelers group, those aged 65 and above comprise 18 percent and another 18% are between 55 and 64 years old. Combining the two, they comprise 36 percent of all leisure travelers.

The remaining numbers fall within these age groups:

  • 19% – 45 to 55 years old
  • 17% – 35 to 44 years old
  • 20% – 25 to 34 years old
  • 8% – 18 to 24 years old

On the other hand, majority of the business travelers, about 26% are aged 45 to 54. The largest group includes the 35-44 years old at 24%, followed by ages 55 to 64 (20%). The younger professionals that fall within ages 25 to 34 comprise only 19%. The smallest percent are those 18 to 24 years of age at 8 percent. Seniors aged 65 and above are still included but only at 7%.

The reason why leisure travelers are older than business travelers is probably because most of them are retirees. These are the people who have more money to spend. They are the ones who have reached retirement and and who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on specialty tours like trips to the Ancient Athens and Green Isles, Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre, or the Bounties Of Bordeaux Wine Cruise.

It’s not always the case for every retiree but more people, who have recently retired, with their retirement fund now easily accessible, they are the ones who usually go on adventures and start to enjoy the world more.

A lot of traveling will happen if the retiree is capable of paying for his trip. It’s like giving himself a big reward after all the years of working hard. Some even sell their homes to travel the world. Crazy idea but it works for some people.

If you want to travel the world, allow Gateway Destinations to plan an extraordinary adventure for you and your loved ones.

[Source: US Travel]

[Infographic] Fewer Adults Travel with Children

June 18th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off


Traveling to many countries and seeing the rest of Europe are in my bucket list. I know a lot of people who dream of a Euro Trip and have started dreaming of exceptional travel getaways in Europe someday.

Travel consultants like Gateway Destinations offer custom travel to Europe for busy professionals, retirees, or honeymooners. For the newlyweds, honeymoon packages can be tailored according to their needs. For the ladies are custom women only tours to the African safari, cooking classes in Tuscany, or an adventure to Peru.

Flying Versus Driving

But while a lot of people look forward to unforgettable dream vacations, not everyone gets to travel as much as they want. The U.S. Travel research department’s ‘Domestic Travel Market’ Report released in 2012 mentioned that 33 percent of domestic business trips were done through flying or by air travel. Only eleven percent (11%) were leisure trips. Most of the travels were done by car, about 79% of the number.

Looks like it’s a Flying versus Driving game. In this side of the world, more people take a road trip than ride the airplane. People travel by land because of many reasons. For one, it is more affordable. But for others, it’s fun to drive with family, friends, and loved ones. It may take time but a road trip can be enjoyable especially for young families. Kids enjoy the long drive. For them, it’s an adventure.

They say, “Travel brings power and love back into your life.” It’s so true. It’s good to travel because it gives you new experiences, freedom, more knowledge, and a renewed spirit of adventure.

[Source: US Travel]

*Gateway Destinations offers all inclusive luxury vacations and travel packages, specializing in women only tours and high end trips to France and Italy, as well as, extraordinary honeymoons.

3 Ways to make your honeymoon trip to Italy extra special

June 15th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

If you are reading this, you probably haven’t tied the knot yet or you have very recently gotten married. You are still in seventh heaven and are probably still euphoric. We congratulate you on finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Still, if you want to make your honeymoon trip to Italy extra special and extra memorable, you need to be very clear as to what you want.

The worst thing you can do is to plan your trip using standard commercial Italian travel tour packages. If you do this, you pretty much drain a lot of the romantic potential of your trip. Sure, Italy is historically known as a great romantic destination. After all, this is the same country where both the sleepy, hauntingly romantic canals and gondolas of Venice and the tragic star-crossed scene of Romeo and Juliet, Verona, are located. But if you were to merely use typical travel tour package itineraries, you miss out on layering on a extra level of mystery, romance, and delight to your trip. Keep the following tips in mind when planning your Italian honeymoon.


Explore off-the-beaten track destinations

Sure, just the mere selection of Italy as your honeymoon destination is enough to guarantee at least some truly romantic and memorable moments on your special trip. But given the fact that most people want to only go to one honeymoon trip in their lives, notwithstanding golden anniversary honeymoon trips, do you really want your honeymoon trip to consist of hitting the same trails and destinations as any other packaged Italy vacation tour? By going to off-the-beaten-track destinations, you avoid the maddening crowd and ‘tourist’ feel of many standard commercial travel packages to Italy. With specialized cherry-picked honeymoon destinations, you are sure to savor the quaint, intimate, ‘just for us’ feel many of Italy’s less-publicized towns and travel destinations offer. You want your travel destination to lend as much romantic ambiance to your trip as possible. Sadly, getting on and off a bus trudging with vacation tour groups waving plastic flags and sporting a sticker on your chest probably rubs some of the romantic firepower of your special trip off.


Plan your itinerary around your personalities

You may be into art. Your partner might be into the sampling and exploring the distinctly Italian mystique of wine. You both might be into spicy seafood dishes. Whatever your particular personality combination and personal tastes, planning your itinerary around your personalities goes a long way in creating a trip that is truly personal and truly memorable. Instead of you spending your precious time around the schedule and economics-based selections of your travel tour company, your own special travel itinerary delivers Italy’s charms, with all its history, mystery, glamor, and culinary firepower, on your own terms.


Select travel destinations based on romantic possibilities

From Romeo and Juliet’s Verona to the misty romantic air of Venice’s grand canals, Italy packs more than its fair share of romantic ambiance. In fact, many parts of the country seem like they came out of a romance novel. That’s how in tune some of Italy’s travel destinations are with romantic moods. Sit down with your travel agent and go through the long list of Italy’s famous romantic spots and cross reference them with the considerations raised above.


Ladies only travel groups let you enjoy Italy on your own terms

May 15th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

Many women cherish their last years in college or their first few years after graduation. During these years, many women are in the most curious and carefree stages of their lives. The whole world is open to them. There are no limits to the possibilities. However, as most women get on with their careers and the responsibilities pile on, much of this sense of wide-open possibility, urge for exploration, and savoring the world’s experiences give way to deadlines to meet, projects to tackle, and an endless series of responsibilities-including relationships. Even later, many women go on to get married and start families. Eventually, the urge to explore gives way to domestic concerns.

If you would like to take a break from your hectic schedule at home or at work or both, you might want to travel to exotic and historic Italy with ladies only travel groups. You’ll quickly discover that traveling with only females and girlfriends can reconnect you with that youthful sense of possibility, exploration, and youthful curiosity you thought were well behind you. Your trip just might bring the much-needed rest, relaxation, and peace of mind you thought you lost to your domestic and career responsibilities. Here are just some of the benefits you get when you sign up for women only tours to Italy.

Temporarily saying good-bye to your roles at home

If most people you come across refer to you as ‘(name of child here)’s mom’ instead of your own name, you might want to take some time off. If you spend most of your time worrying about your kid’s schedules instead of your own, you might want to take a break. If you have forgotten large chunks of your own schedule, a little time off mommy duties might be just what you need. Not only will taking some time off help you recharge your batteries but traveling with ladies only tour groups go a long way in ensuring that you fully recharge without guilt. When you travel to Italy with ladies only tour groups, you travel with fellow women who are in the exact same boat as you-taking time off mommy duties. As a result, you feel more nurtured, there is a mutual support group, and you can also bond and share tips on creating a better balance between your personal life, your role as a mom, your role as a wife, and other responsibilities in your life. Not only could your trip be a great stress reliever, touring with ladies only tour groups to Italy might even clue you in on key coping mechanisms you might not have been aware of previously.

Seeing an Old World fixture with a new set of eyes

If you traveled during or after college, chances are you good that you’ve been to Italy before. The great thing about traveling to this much storied part of the world is that when you’re traveling using women only tours to Italy, you get to see Europe through the eyes of a more mature person. In some ways, this is a great chance to recapture some of the carefree attitude and sense of possibility you had when you were younger while reaping the benefits of maturity and experience. It can be a great personal catalyst to taking stock and taking inventory of your life as you plan your next move. Traveling with ladies only tour groups give you a personal female-only cocoon that helps make these self-realizations and personal revelations less threatening and jarring.


Why Is Travel Insurance Important?

April 15th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off
Be careful not to assume that your US health plan covers you for needed medical care for injury or illness while traveling out of the country because most do not, including Medicare.  In addition to providing emergency medical coverage for you as a traveler, high quality plans also provide benefits in the case of injury, illness or death of a fellow traveler or immediate family member at home.
Another major benefit is trip cost reimbursement before or during travel as well as numerous other benefits such as compensation for a missed flight connection, lost baggage, etc.  Benefits vary and premiums are largely based on age and cost of your trip.  Enjoy peace of mind and call us for more details or go to Gateway Travel Insurance Information to make sure your trip investment is adequately covered.

Ladies Only Travel Groups Give Italy A Different Angle

March 23rd, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

From the Renaissance glory of Florence to the modern chic of Milan to the imperial grandeur of Rome, Italy packs a lot of variety and even several weeks of travel time is not enough to fully capture the essence, the charm, and the mystique of Italy. If you are looking to explore this amazing country from a truly different angle, you should try booking your trip with an agency that specializes in ladies only travel groups. Traveling with only fellow females opens up Italy in a totally unexpected way. You’d be surprised at the takeaway you get and the overall ambiance you enjoy when you travel this European travel gem accompanied only by your girlfriends and other females. You might even ask yourself why you haven’t chosen to travel with ladies only travel groups earlier. There are just so many benefits you get when traveling only with fellow females. Considering the diverse attractions Italy has to offer from its historical locales, modern fashion centers, sophisticated modern city centers, rustic rural charms, and all points in between, you owe it to yourself to enjoy all these with less stress, fresh perspective, and freedom made possible by traveling with ladies only travel groups.

Why a ladies only perspective matters

Let’s face it, men and women just see the world differently. While it may or may not be a stretch to claim that ‘men are from mars and women are from venus,’ there are distinct differences in point of view, attitude, and mindset between men and women. If you are looking to enjoy the distinct artistic, historical, and culinary charms of Italy, you might want to consider ladies only travel groups because you get to travel within a nurturing supporting ‘cocoon’ of fellow females. There is less chance of sexual tensions, power struggles, and emotional tugs of war during your trip.

Exploring the history of Italy from a female perspective

Italy’s history is often marked by conquest, turmoil, upheaval, and renewal. In between these factors are a lot of beauty, emotion, and personal transformation. Visiting classic Roman ruins with a female only group imbues the whole process of looking at massive monuments from the ancient past with a distinct female perspective. Instead of merely focusing on who conquered who, discussions can and often do move to issues of social history, and explorations of what life was like in the past for rank and file Romans.

Enjoying Italy’s mystique with your girlfriends

There is a special mystique to Italy. There is really no word to fully describe it. This mystique is apparent in the form of the bright and colorful Tuscan rustic countryside during wheat harvests or the way the sun melts in the horizon as you sip an espresso at a Florence outdoor tratoria. Italy is an attitude. A sensibility. And one of the best ways to enjoy this is to let your hair down, hang out with girlfriends, and enjoy the mystique and charms of this country through the fresh and unburdened eyes of a recent female college graduate. So fun. So full of life So full of possibilities. You owe it to yourself to reconnect with this part of yourself and there’s no better way to do it than visiting Italy with ladies only travel groups.

Update On Foreign Currency Conversion Fees

March 15th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

Ever surprised after returning home from your international trip by what your credit card company charges for converting foreign currency to US dollars?  This can add up to a hefty sum of money and can be avoided.  Some card issuers such as American Express are now waiving this fee for their Platinum cardholders, as well as others like Capital One.  A few other banks also waive this fee for their preferred cardholders.  It may pay to check your bank’s policy before leaving home.

Cappadocia…a Mystical Gem in Central Turkey

February 18th, 2014 / blog / Comments Off

CappadociaA visit to Turkey isn’t complete without stepping back in time in the captivating Cappadocia region.  Formed by volcanic activity over millions of years, this area boasts unusual rock formations with numerous cave dwellings and never-ending vistas.

CappadociaA must-see is the open-air museum of Goreme with its rock churches housing beautiful frescoes.  Before Christianity was ousted, monks and nuns co-existed and worshipped in this valley.  Another valley aptly name “Imagination Valley” sparks your imagination with its numerous and varied rock shapes.  Several underground cities can also be explored. Their intricate tunnels and rooms clearly depict how inhabitants had to elude their enemies.

Jan in CappadociaAn exciting and popular way to view Cappadocia is by hot air balloon.  You can also explore by horseback.  Roads are in good shape and well marked, making self-drive exploration easy for more independent travelers.  Hotels are plentiful, with many offering cave rooms providing authentic and unusual stays.

The Cappadocia region is full of artisans specializing in rug-making, ceramics and jewelry.  If you want to do some serious shopping, you will be at the source for many of Turkey’s finest goods.

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Gateway Destinations, LLC

PMB #184, 6890 E. Sunrise Drive, #120

Tucson, AZ 85750-0739